Integrating Anthropology into Other Fields
Anthropology seeks to unearth principles of behavior that pertain to all human communities. As a field, anthropology brings out an evolutionary approach to the understanding of human behavior. Human beings find anthropology necessary in the understanding of their origin, as well as understanding numerous cultures of the world. Although Maurer (2012) claims that anthropology is just a collection of numerous case studies with no suggestive answers, the study does not necessarily question why different people behave the way they do. Anthropology is divided into four main sub-divisions, which include sociocultural, biological, archeology, as well as linguistic anthropology, and each sub-division recognizes that human nature has a lengthy evolutionary history, which must be explored to understand what it really means to survive as a human being. For the purpose of this study, the relevance of anthropology is strengthened by the study of culture, where anthropologists connect the knowledge of their cultures with other cultures.
Anthropology is vital in the understanding of the diversity of the world through human experience. Personally, I have realized that anthropology is essential in the study of different cultures, and how globalization is changing cultures. Anthropology operates at the intersection between physical sciences and humanities as it strives to explore the diversity of human understanding across different cultures, and in different times. An anthropologist endeavors to study other cultures from the viewpoint of an insider, rather than an outsider. This viewpoint enables him/her to understand why human practices differ based on cultures. Anthropology, when studied in different perspectives, has helped in recognizing the expansive range of human needs. As an economic discipline, anthropology has expounded on the emergence of capitalism, feminism, and socialism (Maurer, 2012). An anthropological research reveals that the well-being of people in most societies relies on their close connection with their environments.
Anthropology is an open discipline, which allows other disciplines to be integrated into it. As an economic major student, I believe that anthropology can help in acknowledging change in culture, traditional modes of production, as well as how humans have transformed their traditional thinking into the current exchange markets. Economic concepts have been integrated into anthropology to come up with a sub-discipline called economic anthropology. Economic anthropology enlightens on human economic behavior within its historic, cultural, and geographic scale. According to Gregory (2009), economic anthropology assists in understanding the modes of production among ancient communities and the mode of production that has bred peasantry and capitalism in the contemporary world.
Anthropology is relevant in the study of economics because economy is a manifestation of all humanity. Economic anthropology raises criticism of the current systems of production based on how production used to be in the past. Adam Smith’s theory of natural economy was perceived to be run through the cultural aspects of positive reciprocity (Gregory, 2009). Positive reciprocity implies that humans exchanged products willingly based on cultural needs. Anthropology has helped in understanding the aspects of globalization in changing people’s culture. Contemporary organizations are seeking the services of anthropologists to become consultants, who can assist other employees to manipulate cultural, economic, social, and political environments. For instance, an anthropologist can help in explaining how a certain product should be introduced to the Latinos and not African-Americans, based on the understanding of the two cultures. The exchange of products among individuals has changed, as people have become dissatisfied of the value of exchanges.
Gregory, C. (2009). Whatever happened to economic anthropology?1. Australian Journal Of Anthropology, 20(3): 285-300. doi:10.1111/j.1757-6547.2009.00037.x
Maurer, B. (2012). Occupy economic anthropology. Journal Of The Royal Anthropological Institute, 18(2): 454-460. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9655.2012.01752.x